Starbucks targets at-risk youth with hiring

Coffee chain commits to filling 10 per cent of new hires with unemployed youth who are not in school
||Last Updated: 11/12/2015

Starbucks is taking a commitment to hire young Canadians who are unemployed and not in school national.

The coffee chain launched a pilot program in April in Toronto when it committed to filling 10 per cent of its new hires with young people age 16 to 24 who are not working and not going to school. The Toronto pilot project is on track to exceed its 10 per cent goal — translating to 150 hires — in the first year, it said.

Now the program is being rolled out in Vancouver and Montreal, and Starbucks Canada plans to make it a national program. It is also expanding its work placement program — currently operating in Surrey, B.C., Vancouver, Toronto and Calgary — to include Montreal. Combined, the coffee chain says these programs will create 4,100 jobs and work placements over the next three years.

“Youth unemployment is an issue that requires immediate attention,” said Rossan Williams, president of Starbucks Canada. “We simply can’t have a generation of unemployed and disconnected youth. This generation deserves the same opportunity previous generations have enjoyed.”

It is partnering with community organizations and municipalities, said Williams.

“We believe we can create real pathways to opportunity for these new hires while driving our business forward and strengthening the communities we serve.”

Starbucks said it is working with the Ministry of Social Development and Social Innovation in Vancouver; the City of Toronto; Partnership to Advance Youth Employment (PAYE) in Toronto; and Société de développement social de Ville-Marie (SDSVM) in Montreal.

Currently, 73 per cent of its store employees are under the age of 24, Starbucks Canada said.

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